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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Exercise Induced Insomnia

I started having sleep problems back in fall. I knew it was caused by my exercise but I didn't really know what to do about it. Basically, I would fall asleep pretty easily but at some point in the night I would jolt awake and then be awake for at least 1-2 (or more) hours. Sometimes I would jolt awake after only being asleep for an hour or two.  Beyond just being awake my body, especially my legs, feel very anxious and jittery when I am awakened. Needless to say, it was annoying and not helpful to maintaining an active lifestyle.

After I dialed down the exercise, due to my thyroid surgery, those spells didn't happen as much - though I did have some insomnia from too much snythroid. Then this week after I've amped up the exercise effort it's started again.

I normally don't work out in the evenings unless it's Zumba - so most workouts are finished by 5 p.m. at the very latest (usually it's just a lunch time workout) which leaves plenty of time for my body to come down off the exercise high before going to bed around 9 or 10 p.m. Caffeine can sometimes be a culprit if I grab an afternoon Coke Zero or green tea.

But I also recently read an interesting online advice column regarding glycogen depletion. The advice was to not only look at a reasonable carb load (either before the workout or within half an hour afterwards) but also a small amount of real sugar, i.e. honey or fruit, before bed. Goodness knows that I'm not low carb right now but I don't always fuel properly so it's a theory worth checking out. Wednesday is going to be another intense day so I've tried to increase the carbs accordingly and will try the small bit of sugar before bed and see if that helps any.

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